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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Lemon Cream Spaghetti Squash

Lemon Cream Spaghetti Squash
The first time I ate spaghetti was in southern Spain when I was seven. My dad told me to bite down to release the longer strands of pasta, but nothing happened because I had no front teeth and the spaghetti just dangled there--much to everyone's amusement. It's a story he still likes to tell 35 years later.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Black Rice and Red Lentil "Risotto" with Lemon and Ginger


Black Rice and Red Lentil Risotto with Lemon and Ginger

Did you hear? Black is the new blue. As in black rice is the new blueberry. Until a few days ago, I had never tasted black rice, and now I’m head-over-heels in love with this antioxidant-rich, protein-packed little grain. Which, by the way, when you cook it, turns everything a little pink, almost like adding beets to something--another winning attribute in my pink-loving book.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Pretty Little Sweet Potato and Zucchini Casserole

Pretty Little Sweet Potato and Zucchini Casserole
This is one of those casseroles that Annelle from Steel Magnolias might have found in the "freezes beautifully" section of her cookbook. It looks so pretty, and takes no time at all. And if you'd like to just toss the vegetables in a dish without arranging them, go right ahead. I won't tell anyone.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Roasted Rosie's Garlic and Lemon Chicken

Roasted Rosie's Garlic and Lemon Chicken
Garlic cures many ills--vampire attacks, sore throats, hypertension. But the best way to eat garlic in my book, is to roast a whole head of it until caramelized and slightly sweet. That's the key to this dish.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Cauliflower Pizza Crust with Savory Rhubarb Jam, Yellow Squash and Cherry Tomatoes



I once read that Jennifer Garner can't turn down pizza. If she is out and about with Ben, Violet and Seraphina, and someone offers her a slice, she has to say yes because she loves pizza that much. Well bully for you, Jennifer Garner. Really, that is awesome. But if I accepted every piece of pizza that was offered to me, let's just say there would be much more of me to love.

Hence my recent pizza crusade: to find a pizza I can eat whenever I want and feel good about it.

Last week I made grilled eggplant "pizza" and it was pretty satisfying, but didn't quite scratch that itch. Last night I made this Cauliflower Crust Pizza with Savory Rhubarb Jam and Yellow Squash. I've seen many posts and pics of recipes for this crust and had always been skeptical about the whole idea. But desperate times call for desperate measures, so I got out my box grater, riced a whole head of cauliflower, and kept my fingers crossed.


Now you might, as my husband does all the time for lots of reasons, call me a crazy lady for putting rhubarb on a pizza, but trust me when I tell you, it's crazy good! Rhubarb is a vegetable after all, and this savory-sweet jammy mix was inspired by Marcus Samualson's recipe.



Rhubarb Simmering with Balsamic Vinegar, Brown Sugar and Stock.


I used a scant grating of our favorite English Coastal Cheddar cheese that I buy from Costco. It's so rich and aged that a little goes a long way, and it was a magic combo with a few slices of yellow squash and some cherry tomatoes from our garden.
Just out of the oven and resting.






So if you've ever wondered about the mythical much-pinterested cauliflower pizza crust, but have never tried it, I urge you to do so right now, because it's good. I will be making it again soon and I can't wait to experiment with all kinds of toppings and combinations.

So take that, Jennifer Garner, I too can now eat pizza anytime it's offered! To myself. Cooked on a cauliflower crust.

Recipe: Serves 2, or 1 if you are super hungry.


Ingredients:

Cauliflower Crust
  • 1 Smallish Head of Cauliflower, Riced
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Teaspoon of Fresh Rosemary, Chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon of Fresh Basil, Chopped
  • 1 Teaspooon of Fresh Thyme, Chopped
  • 1/4 Cup of Parmesean Cheese, Grated
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, Crushed
Rhubarb Jam
  • 4 Stalks of Rhubarb, Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup of Veggie or Chicken Stock
  • 1/3 Cup of Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/8 Cup of Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Powdered Ginger
  • Salt to Taste
  • Freshly Ground Lemon Pepper to Taste
Toppings
  • 1/8 Cup of Coastal Cheddar Cheese (or whatever cheese you like)
  • 6 Sliced Cherry Tomatos
  • 1 Small Yellow Squash, Sliced
 Instructions:

  1. Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Grate your cauliflower head with a box grater on the medium plane, or use your food processor, to create your cauliflower "rice".
  3. In a medium pan filled with an inch of boiling water, add your cauliflower rice and cook until tender, about 5-6 minutes.
  4. Transfer the rice to a strainer and use the back of a wooden spoon to extract as much water as you can. This is the KEY to a perfect crust. Be patient let it sit and strain and help it along with the spoon. You can also squeeze the water out by putting the rice into a clean kitchen towel, as you would with spinach, and press all the water out with your big muscles.
  5. In a bowl, add your waterless cauliflower rice, the egg, the herbs, the cheese and the garlic and mix until just combined.
  6. On an sheet pan lined with generously oiled foil, mold your cauliflower mixture into a pizza crust. Make it round, make it square, whatever tickles your pickle.
  7. Now par cook the crust for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until it is nice and light gold.
  8. Remove from the oven and let it it sit while your prepare the jam.
  9. Sautee the rhubarb in the chicken stock.
  10. Add the sugar and balsamic vinegar.
  11. Let it reduce to half.
  12. Stir in the ginger and then remove pan from the heat.
  13. Add a thin layer of rhubarb jam. (I actually really layered my jam on thick, because  I love me some rhubarb--but be warned, when using a thick layer of rhubarb, you run the risk of making the crust soggy. It was a risk I was willing to take.)
  14. Sprinkle on your cheese.
  15. Place your tomatoes and squash and pop it back in the over for another 5 minutes until everything is bubbling and ready to eat.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sweet Potato, Zucchini and Tomato Bake


I found the most gorgeous picture yesterday, on Jamie Oliver's site, of a classic Greek dish called Briam, and I just had to make it last night. It's a vegetable dish that is roasted in the oven, and boy am I glad I stumbled upon this gorgeousness. I am ever a fan of Greek recipes. They just make so much sense to my taste buds with all that fresh oregano, mint and basil.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Mrs. Kobayashi's Edamame and Nori Rice Balls

Mrs. Kobayashi's Edamame and Nori Rice Balls

I worry about how much soy is in my daughters' diets. They love miso soup, and edamame with rice and lots of soy sauce. They'd eat that every day if I let them. Because the soy in miso soup and high quality authentic soy sauces is fermented, these are not terrible when eaten in moderation. However, edamame has a high concentration of phytoestrogens that can wreak all kinds of havoc, mimicking naturally occurring estrogens and creating digestive issues at best, and cancer in the extreme.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Pear and Candied Walnut Salad with Goat Cheese



Pear and Candied Walnut Salad with Goat Cheese


On Sundays when we'd visit my nana for lunch, she would usually make a spectacular traditional English Sunday roast. But during the summer, on rare days in England when it was too hot to "cook-cook," Nana would make a salad. It was my first exposure to salad and it was simple but perfect with butter lettuce, fragrant warm tomatoes from her greenhouse, English cucumber, a wedge of tangy Cheshire cheese and a boiled chicken breast with, of course, Heinz salad cream. I can taste it all now. The essence of an English summer, with the back kitchen door open and the multicolored fly curtain flapping in the breeze. Her garden, so abundant with marigolds, roses, lupins, pansies, busy lizzys, bluebells and fuchsia, that it never looked quite real, animated, almost, like the garden in Disney's Alice in Wonderland, was our view from the table. The experience of eating that salad at that table is a summer childhood memory that I love to think about.